EDEM is a specialist and market leader in Discrete Element Method (DEM) software, going back to its founding in 2006. The company’s software is used for virtual testing of equipment that handles or processes bulk materials in the manufacturing of mining, construction, off-highway and agricultural machinery, in addition to the mining and process industries. This week, the company announced a partnership with the Barnes Group Advisors, which advises on and solves problems associated with additive manufacturing. The two companies will work together to advance the use of simulation to aid design decisions for equipment and processes in the additive manufacturing industry.

Specifically, EDEM and the Barnes Group Advisors are focusing on powder-based additive manufacturing. The quality and performance of a final part is highly dependent on the composition and behavior traits of the powder being used, as is the setup of the 3D printer itself. Starting to 3D print with a new material isn’t as easy as just dumping in the powder and starting up the machine – whenever a new material is introduced, the setup and design of the 3D printer’s components and operational conditions have to be reviewed and configured to effectively handle the new material. This can be time-consuming and involve trial and error testing.

EDEM and the Barnes Group Advisors are aiming to reduce the necessity of physical testing in these situations, and to save time by using computer-aided engineering and simulation instead. This software can also help the user to understand how 3D printers need to be configured to handle new powders. EDEM software is already used in multiple industries to simulate the behavior of a variety of bulk and granular materials, including powder processes. It has the potential to be applied to various aspects of the additive manufacturing process, including powder delivery, spreading and cleaning operations.

“The Barnes Group Advisors sees great need for validating simulation for powder flow and spreading scenarios as additive manufacturing continues its rapid expansion,” said John Barnes, Founder and Managing Director of the Barnes Group Advisors. “Part of that expansion is partly new types of materials and partly a need for more affordable materials.  How they behave in systems and designing systems to move particles around is going to be very important.  We see this activity as a win-win to be working with EDEM.”

The partnership between EDEM and the Barnes Group Advisors aims to use simulation tools to help users of additive manufacturing better understand the design of additive manufacturing equipment and processes, and to reduce reliance on physical testing for design work.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with The Barnes Group Advisors who are leaders in the field of additive manufacturing,” said Richard LaRoche, Chief Executive Officer of EDEM. “Our EDEM technology has already proven to be a key predictive tool in other industries handling powders such as the pharmaceutical sector and we are excited to explore how the additive manufacturing industry will be able to benefit from key design insights.”

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[Source/Images: Barnes Group Advisors]

 

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